GROWING Miscanthus as an alternative crop can offer farmers some much needed long-term assurance about financial returns, according to biomass firm Terravesta.

The company said that miscanthus grows well on almost any soil type with minimum inputs, harvested each spring for potentially 20 years or more. Grown under contract, whole bales of miscanthus are used to fuel renewable energy power stations supported by long-term government grants.

Farmers interested in finding out more about growing it are invited to a Terravesta farm walk in Louth, Lincolnshire, on May 23, where the host will be arable farmer, Peter Strawson, who grows 34 hectares of Miscanthus on his outlying land and took the first harvest this year.

“The Miscanthus is on very good quality land but it’s outlying, meaning the combine etc has to be moved a long way, so it’s not practical or cost-effective to grow cereals on it," said Mr Strawson.

“The agricultural sector is hopelessly uncertain (as always) and with Miscanthus you have some most welcome long-term assurance. Generally Miscanthus takes care of itself after its establishment and you don’t have to supervise or cultivate it.

“You don’t need sophisticated machinery to harvest it and local contractors are experienced with the crop, working closely with Terravesta and taking care of the harvest completely”.

To find out more about the open day, go to